Delta variant hits hard in the five worst states for vaccination rates: It’s spreading ‘like a tsunami,’ one health official says

Variant lab
Researchers sequence coronavirus samples at the microbiology laboratory of the University Hospital of Badajoz in Spain on April 15, 2021. Javier Pulpo/Europa Press/Getty Images
  • The five states with the lowest vaccination rates in the US are experiencing surging Delta variant cases.
  • The five states are Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Mississippi.
  • In each state, officials are sounding the alarms, warning that the Delta variant is quickly spreading.
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The Delta variant is spreading rapidly across five states with the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Officials in the five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Wyoming, Idaho, and Mississippi – are warning that positive coronavirus cases are shooting up. In Alabama, only 26 of the more than 11,000 COVID-19 deaths in the state since the pandemic began were people who were vaccinated, according to the Associated Press.

Just 44.7% of Alabama’s total population has received at least one dose against the coronavirus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that tracks the 50 states and Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Following Alabama are Louisiana with 44.1%, Wyoming with 42.3%, Idaho with 41.6%, and Mississippi dead last at 40.8%.

These figures pale in comparison to national stats. About 58% of the US population has received at least one dose against the coronavirus. When it comes to adults, about 71% have received at least one dose.

In Mississippi, the state with the worst vaccination rate in the country, a top health official on Thursday said the Delta variant is spreading “like a tsunami.”

“If we look at our trajectory, we see that it’s continuing to increase without any real demonstration of leveling off or decreasing,” State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said at a press briefing.

The other four states are also facing dire circumstances.

A top medical official said Louisiana is “in the worst place we’ve ever been in the pandemic,” adding that hospitals are overwhelmed to the point where resources are highly limited.

Federal assistance teams arrived in Louisiana to help curb the spread of the coronavirus and help people recover from it. But the gaps in resources and hospital room availability are so large that these teams are unable to make much of a difference.

The Delta variant has now become the dominant strain in Idaho and Wyoming.

Scientists and health officials are attributing most new coronavirus cases to the Delta variant, a press release from the Wyoming Department of Health says.

“We are deeply concerned. The Delta variant has really changed the COVID fight we have on our hands. Unfortunately, Wyoming’s low vaccination rate makes our state more vulnerable to this highly contagious variant,” said Dr. Alexia Harrist, state health officer and epidemiologist in Wyoming.

Federal and state health officials continue to urge people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. In response to surging cases brought on by the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in July recommended once again that Americans – including people who are already fully vaccinated – mask up in indoor spaces.